COLLEGE STATION, Texas - After going hitless in the first six innings, the Cadets rallied for three runs in the top of the seventh inning to post a 3-1 win over the Roughnecks in a seven-inning affair on Thursday afternoon. The triumph gave the Cadets a sweep the best-of-three Aggies Fall World Series at Blue Bell Park.
Trailing 1-0 entering the seventh inning, Jaxton McNair walked and Blake Allemand was hit by a pitch to start the frame. Krey Bratsen put down a sacrifice bunt, but Aggies' reliever Parker Ray was unsuccessful in his attempt to get the lead runner at third, loading the bases. Cole Lankford laced a single through the right side of the infield to tie the game at 1-1. Daniel Mengden gave the Cadets their first lead of the game when he grounded out to third. With the only makeable play being the putout at first, Allemand scored for the go-ahead run. The Cadets added an insurance run when Charlie Curl singled to leftfield to drive in Bratsen.
The Roughnecks drew first blood in the bottom of the third inning. With one out, AJ Minter was hit by a pitch and stole second base. After JB Moss flew out to rightfield, Jace Statum broke the scoring seal with a single to centerfield, plating Minter.
Statum led all hitters going 2-for-3 with one RBI.
Matt Kent earned the victory on the mound for the Cadets with an outstanding relief outing. He yielded one hit while striking out four of the six batters he faced in 2.0 innings. Jason Jester retired the side in order in the bottom of the seventh, including two strikeouts, to pick up the save. Jason Freeman was solid in the start, allowing one run on four hits and one walk while striking out three over 4.0 innings.
Corey Ray pitched 5.0 hitless, shutout innings as the Roughnecks starter. He walked two while fanning five. Zach Brashear retired the side in order in the sixth, including one strikeout, to hand the Roughnecks' lead over to Parker Ray. Parker Ray was saddled with the loss, allowing three runs on one hit, one walk and one hit batsman over 0.1 innings of work.
The Cadets, who also won 5-0 on Wednesday, earned the Omaha Cup with the victory, signifying the end of fall practice. With Tuesday's contest getting postponed due to rain, the Aggies will hold another scrimmage at 3 p.m. on Friday.
TEXAS A&M QUOTES
Head Coach Rob Childress
On the last inning rally by the Cadets: The Cadets kept it close. Both teams' starters did a nice job and the bullpen held it together. In the ninth inning, the Cadets were handed some baserunners with a walk and a hit batter. The Roughnecks weren't able to get an out on a bunt. The Cadets strung some hits together with two strikes. They came and took the game from them. Give both teams credit. The starters gave each team a chance to win.
On what to take from fall workouts: Our pitchers grew up as the fall went along. For the first three or four weeks, our hitters dominated our pitching staff. I felt like some guys made some moves this fall. Kyle Martin continues to grow into that starter role. Raphael Pineda's had a great fall. Corey Ray has as good of stuff as anybody. For him to finish the way that he did today is going to give him a lot of confidence going forward. Jason Freeman continues to improve. It's nice to have Jason Jester throwing the way he is.
On the surprises of the spring: There are some young kids that are going to play important roles for us as we get into the spring. They've got to continue to develop and continue to grow. On the pitching side of things I feel like we have better balance than we've had in the past. We're a little deeper on the left side than we have been in previous years.
On what the team still needs to work on: We've got to continue to get bigger, faster and stronger. We can't take a week off from the standpoint of skill instruction, both offensively and on the mound. We've got to continue to grow and develop. Guys have got to be guys for us come February.